Bloomberg Businessweek

What Use Does Wall Street Have for Newspapers?

• Warren Buffett just gave up on local news. But other investors look even less friendly

Warren Buffett always had a soft spot for newspapers. He didn’t just own a lot of them. He described himself as a newspaper addict and fondly recalled delivering them as a teenager. For many years he hosted a newspaper-throwing contest at the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. conglomerate, challenging anyone to toss a rolled-up paper closer to the front door than he could.

Now he’s getting out of the business. On Jan. 29, Lee Enterprises Inc. announced that it’s buying Berkshire’s 31 daily newspapers and some other publications for $140 million. Buffett set up the sale in a way that allows him to make money from the deal for years to come. Lee will pay Berkshire a 9% annual interest rate on a 25-year loan that it will use partly to pay for the deal and partly

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